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Pfefferberg Media Park (R2)

Berlin, Germany
Aborted 2001

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The Pfefferberg is located in the former Central District of Berlin in an urban industrial complex that was built in the late 19th century. The projected program includes exhibition space, offices for new media companies, entertainment structures (restaurants and bars), a health club & spa and a 80 rooms hotel. Our architectural mission consists of defining a rehabilitation scheme to be applied on the 19 historical structures (14 000 square meters) of the Pfefferberg estate. Additional 8 000 square meters of new construction are also projected. The historical industrial complex has developed unsystematically throughout its history, punctuated by a rich variety of industrial architecture. The proposed rehabilitation strategy of the Pfefferberg is constructed around a logic of circumstantial readjustments.

The Pfefferberg rehabilitation project should not be looked at as a total renovation. The localized interventions should be conceived as sophisticated instruments to be dispatched along the site and within the buildings. New interventions should not replicate the supposed original conditions of the existing buildings, instead, they should be conceived as additions. In order to preserve the architectural integrity of the historical buildings and the site as a whole, there should be a clear difference the added material and the existing matter. Besides proposing a system of rehabilitation for the existing buildings, our scheme projects a 150 m long inhabitable structure that also acts as an elevated bridge between the two adjacent main entrances of the site (north / south). The bridge establishes new connections between the existing buildings and programs within the site, it also offers an alternative route in the existing urban network.  In October 2001, this proposal was approved by the city planning department in Berlin and the local commissions for the preservation of historical buildings. In the fall of 2002 the first exhibition space in the Pfefferberg complex was inaugurated with an opening show featuring the work of the American artist Frank Stella. Permanent collections are presently exhibited in a newly restored sector of the Pfefferberg. The executed portion of the exhibition spaces in our project are currently managed by the Japanese Art Collector Ikira Ikeda.